GM Spokesman Praises Tesla for Model S Sales Success; Analyst Says Chevy Volt Will Regain Top Spot


Model S Sales in Q1 Trump All "Large Luxury" Competitors and both Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF

Model S Sales in Q1 Trump All “Large Luxury” Competitors and both Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF

On May 8, Tesla Motors will release its official quarter one results for 2013.  In it, Tesla says it’ll report that sales of the Model S exceeded 4,750 units in Q1.  That figure puts the Model S into the plug-in vehicle sales lead in the US for the first three months of 2013.  Chevy Volt sales were 4,421 in Q1 and the LEAF checked in with 3,695 units sold in Q1.

Tesla spokeswoman, Shanna Hendriks, first noted the 4,750-unit figure for Model S sales back on March 31, but Tesla is now reconfirming the accuracy of that figure.

With sales of the Model S outpacing the Chevy Volt in Q1 of 2013, how does General Motors respond?

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

Jim Cain, a spokesman for GM, stated:

“Any success for a company in this space is helpful for all other makers of plug-in vehicles.  The single most important thing we can do for plug-ins, to encourage sales, is to have them on the road.”

But it won’t be long until the Chevy Volt once again trumps the Model S, according to independent auto analyst Wolkonowicz.

As Wolkonowicz says, Tesla’s quarterly lead is “interesting trivia,” but Volt sales will reach higher volumes over time.  Why?  Well, for starters, the Model S is more expensive and that alone means that it’ll draw a smaller crowd of potential buyers, but Wolkonowicz further claims that Volt’s EREV setup is the reason why it’ll outsell the Model S.

“The Volt is the one that makes sense out of that whole group of plug-ins, because you can use it like a regular car when the battery runs out.”

We’re not so sure that plug-in hybrids will always outsell pure battery electric vehicles, but they do seem a logical choice for those who aren’t quite sure if pure electric will work for them.

via Bloomberg

Categories: Chevrolet, Tesla

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4 Comments on "GM Spokesman Praises Tesla for Model S Sales Success; Analyst Says Chevy Volt Will Regain Top Spot"

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Josh Bryant

The real reason the Volt sales will outpace Model S sales in the near term, is Tesla will start delivering to the EU. Even if Tesla can continue to crank 1600-2000 out per month, the US sales will be just a fraction of that the second half of the year.

The terms of demand relative to their own segment, I would argue that Tesla is doing much better than the Volt right now. The Volt, however, does have a huge advantage in segment size, and will easily win in the long term in total numbers sold.

Alan Campbell

GM had better plan to offer the $10k price drop with the 2014 model, because with the announcement of a $10k price drop for the next gen model, who in their right mind would buy one now, knowing that in a few months, the same vehicle could be $10k less.

Ford offered the $2k price drop for the Focus Electric, then announced. Nissan waited until current inventory was depleted before announcing a price reduction.

So the GM announcement could mean a price drop is imminent.

Dave R

The savvy shopper is already getting a significant portion of that $10k price drop on existing models.

But what really should hold people up is what nips, tucks and tweaks GM has in store for the next model year.

They’ve already bumped up battery capacity once, but the rest of the car is basically the same. I think a lot of people are waiting for a more substantial refresh like the 2013 LEAF delivered.


Wolkonowicz is so far off that his head will be spinning for the next 2 years.
Even now, Tesla is scaling the Model S up to 650 cars/week. And as they build out new showrooms and go into other nations, they expect that they will have to increase it further.

More importantly, Tesla is building out a network of supercharging stations and it appears that they will be offering battery swaps as well. If that is true, then there is NO reason to go with the volt here in USA.

The Volt will be seen as being overly complicated and expensive for what you are getting. And rightly so.